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Alessandro Gocciadoro has returned home to Italy and he and his team is hot. From July 5-14 his trainees won seven major races, all but one being three and four year olds. The run started on July 5 at Ippodromo San Paolo Montegiorgio with the Gr. III GP Marche Femine Livia (purse 50,050€, 1600 meters autostart, three year old females) and Bahamia (3f Maharajah-Nimibia-Cantab Hall) scored for trainer/driver Gocciadoro timed in 1.12.3kr. She easily defeated Bica DL (3f Zola Boko) and Bananaramc Jet (3f Ken Warkentin). The male division called the GP Marche Maschi Martini (Gr. III, purse 50,050€, 1600 meters autostart, three year old males) saw Boys Stecca (3m Napoleon Bar-Ambretta Bar-Ganymede) score in 1.12.9kr with Gocciadoro at the lines. Belzebu’ Jet (3m Wishing Stone) and Bleff Dipa (3m Mister JP) took the second and third checks. On July 11 the streak continued at Ippodromo di Cesena in the Citta di Cesena Filly (Gr. III, purse 50,050€, 2060 meters autostart) and Babirussa Jet (3f Pine Chip-Nagasaki Jet-Supergill) scored in 1.13.4kr for pilot Gocciadoro. Betta Zack (3f Rotary OK) and Borboletta (3f Love You) were the closest rivals. In the Citta’ di Cesena Maschi (Gr. III, purse 50,050€, three year old males) the Gocciadoro winner was 1.13.7kr timed Big Business ARC (3m Varenne-Grazie Italia-Pine Chip). He bested Bonjovi MMG (3m Ganymede-Ethel Black-Indro Park) and Bruccione FAS (3m Gruccione Jet). Babirussa Jet   Bigbusiness ARC     On July 12 the action moved to Trieste and first the PR Citta’di Trieste Filly (purse 50,050€, 1660 meters autostart, four year old females) saw Apple Wise As (4f Royalty For Life-Desert Flower K-Sierra Kosmos) win in 1.15.2kr for Gocciadoro.   Alaska Gams (4f Maharajah) and Amour Petit (4f Look de Star) took the next two checks. The featured PR Giorgio Jegher (purse 50,050€, 1660 meters autostart) went to the gallant veteran Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) timed in 1.13.9kr for Gocciadoro. Viscarda Jet (6f Pine Chip-Nives Jet-Naglo) was second and Timone EK (8m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) took third money. Then the four year old males contested the PR Citta’diu Trieste Maschi (purse 50,050€, 1660 meters autostart) and again AG was in command with 1.14.5kr timed Al Capone Stecca (4m Napoleon Bar-Ombretta Bar-Ganymede). Adamo Dipa (4m Chirone Dei) was a length back followed by third finishing Americio Jet (4m Trixton). Gaet, Trieste, Cesena, Montegiorgio Ippodromo files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

June 14, 2020 - High class trotting action took place yesterday on the harness racing half mile track at Padova Italy. There were five Groupe level contests. The Gr. II Gran Premio Padovanelle (purse 80,080€, 1640 meters autostart, 12 starters) was the headliner and it received the most attention due to the appearance of Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM-Yankee Glide-Kim’s Diamond Chip), the 2019 winner of the Yonkers NY International. He did not disappoint as he scored gate to wire in a world record 1.09.3kr (half mile track race record, mile rate 1:51.5). Roberto Vecchione teamed the Holger Ehlert trainee that is owned by Giuseppe Franco. Stablemate Sharon Gar (9g Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra) tracked the winner but could not keep up in the final quarter finishing second, timed in 1.09.8kr. V.P. Dell’Annunziata teamed her for trainer Ehlert. Third was Virginia Grif (6f Varenne-Fancy Capar-Supergill) for Fed Esposito. Veteran Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Supergill) was fourth. Zacon Gio’s pedigree and the race replay are shown below. For the Zacon Gio video replay click here There were two divisions of the Gr. III Gran Premio Elwood Medium on the fine Padova card, each for a purse of 50,050€ and raced over 2040 meters autostart. In the filly division for three year olds the 1.15.0kr winner was Bonneville Gifont (3f Varenne-Fedora Caf-Toss Out) for Roberto Vecchione. She defeated Bernadette Jet (3f Maharajah-First Lady Jet-Supergill) handled by Roberto Andreghetti. Her third dam was the down under champion trotter Petite Evander. Third in this race was Bica DL (3f Zola Boko-Cindy America-Supergill) for Antonio Di Nardo. Cindy America also comes from an important internatiomal pedigree as shown below.     The three year old colt division went to 1.15.5kr clocked Bonjovi MMG (3m Ganymede-Ethel Blak-Indro Park) reined by V.P. Dell’Annunziata. Baccani (3, Ideale Luis-Butlers Choice-Harmonious) was next with Antonio DiNardo aboard and third was Bigbusiness ARC (3m Varenne-Crazie Italia-Pine Chip for Alessandro Gocciadoro. The four year olds contested two divisions of the Gr. III Gran Premio Citta’ di Padova (each for a purse of 50,050€, distance 2040 meters). The filly division went to 1.12.5kr timed and Roberto Vecchione reined Ambra Grif (4f Varenne-Novella di Jesolo-Lindy Lane). She bested equal timed Alaska Gams (4f Maharajah-Edwige Blak-Supergill) with Andrea Guzzinati aboard with third to Alouette handled by Enrico Baldo. In the colt division the 1.11.6kr clocked victory was earned by Alrajah One (4m Maharajah-Mariu’-Varenne) with Enrico Bellei the pilot. Second was Always EK (4m Filipp Roc-Nike EK-Varenne) and reinsman Alessandro Gocciadoro and third went to Aguacate (4m Iglesias-Laguna As-Lemon Dra). In other European notices, the great Zoogin, shown below with Ake Svanstedt, passed away this week at age 31. Quite a horse he was on the track and as a stallion Zoogin and Svanstedt Another name from the past emerged today in the Breedlopp at Solvalla. Stig H. Johansson was the pilot for third finishing Fixi Mearas (5f Muscle Hill-Trinity Starlight-SJs Photo) that was off as the 1.8/1 favorite. Stig H. also trains this well-bred mare.   Thomas H. Hicks

Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glide Font SM-Yankee Glide) returned to competitive action today at Napoli to win the PR fon Telethons Invitational (purse 12, 100€, 2060 meters distance handicap), He scored from a 40 meter handicap timed in 1.11.6kr with Roberto Vecchione aboard for trainer Holger Ehlert.  Vedette del Ronco (6f Julius del Ronco-Bum Bum Fortuna) rallied nicely to be less than two lengths back second. Virtuoso Luis (6m Self Possessed-Mandralogo PL) took third. Zacon Gio, the 2019 Yonkers International winner, who also bested Face Time Bourbon in Italy, made his return off several impressive public training appearances with his trainer aboard, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7LQge0SDrM&feature=emb_logo Zacon Gio Zacon Gio’s pedigree is shown below. Gaet, Ippodromo di Agnano files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

Ursa Caf (7f Explot Caf-Crismar-Campo Ass) took today’s Pr. Encat (purse 55,000€, 2250 meters autostart) at Milano La Maura. Timed in 1.13.2kr the winner had Antonio DiNardo as her pilot, she a winner of over 338,000€. Deimos Racing S (7g Quite Easy-Athena Haleryd-Pine Chip) was a game second for reinsman Roberto Andreghetti, ahead of Sonia (9g Donato Hanover-Ele Code-Uronometro) with Rebe Legati up. Toscarella (8f Varenne-Day Love Blue-Ganymede) took fourth for Mas Castaldo. Ursa Caf  The Ursa Caf pedigree is shown below. . Gaet, Blodbanken files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

The GP Royal Mares (purse 88,000€, 1600 meters autostart) at Napoli Agnano saw Sharon Gar (8f Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra) score in record time 1.10.7kr with Roberto Vecchione aboard for trainer Holger Ehlert. The previous record was 1.11.1kr set by Trendy OK. A half-length off Sharon Gar was second finishing Ua Huka (6f Muscles Yankee-Fancy Bi) with Andrea Farolfi up with third to Tersa OB Sonic reined by Antonio Di Nardo. A day earlier at Siracusa was the PR Mediterrareo (Gr. III, purse 40,040€) and victory went to Aramis EK (3m Nad Al Sheba-Freedom EK-Bon Vivant) timed in 1.13.1kr with Alessandro Gocciadoro up. Anthony Leone (3m Lebessio Grif-Gasping Ferm) was second and third went to Akela Pal Ferm (3f Maharajah-Remilla di Palle). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The colt division of the GP Mipaaf (purse 407,000€, 2100 meters autostart) in Napoli, Italy saw a 1.14.3kr clocked victory by Bristol CR (2m Owen CR- Rapsidia CR-Yankee Slide) with a front end score. Banderas Bi (2m Ganymede-Isa Grandi-Toss Out) was second and Barberesco Grif (2m Conway Hall-Maura Grif-Varenne) was third. Buena Suerte Bi (2f Yankee Glide-No Ifs Here) took this day’s PR Mipaaf Filly (purse 88,000€, 1600 meters autostart) clocked in 1.14.9kr and reined by V.P. Dell’Annunziata for trainer Tiberio Cecere. The winner raced on the front as she recorded her fifth victory in seven starts in this her two-year old season. Betta Indal (2f Varenne-Isabeau Volo) was second with Rene Legati up with third to Brezzapura Ferm (2f Ganymede-Ozge Ferm-Fast Photo) home third for Gior, D;Allessandro Jr. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Alessandro Gocciodoro piloted his trainee Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) to a wire to wire victory in the 110,000€ purse Grand Premio Duomo 2019 held at Firenze, Italy. It was the 73rd edition of this classic race contested over 1600 meters autostart.  The winning campaigner was clocked in 1.16.9kr to defeat Ula Pisaia Trgf (6f Ghibellinoi-Estasivi-American Winner) reined by Antonio Greppi. Third home was the Antonio DiNardo teamed Pocohontas-Diamant (8f Look de Star-Lanira Dei). Two day’s later at Milano La Maura, in the Jef’s Spice (purse 14,300€, 1650 meters autostart), Buffon ZS (2m Conway Hall-Nuvella Grif-Varenne) recorded his third career victory in record time 1.13.2kr. He rallied for Andrea Farolfi and trainer Mauro Baroncini to score by three over the Gocciadoro teamed Boltigeur Erre (2m Voltigeur de Myrt-Lilli Degi Ulivi-Sugarcane Hanover). Third was Bardo di Poggio (2m Trixton-Nuvolo di Poggio-Varenne) with Pietro Gubellini aboard Ahead on December 7 is the 88,000€ purse GP Royal Mares at Napoli. Raced over 1600 meters autostart this group of 11 includes Sharon Gar, Zaniah Bi and Ursa Caf. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

November 23, 2019 - Volnik du Kras (5m Varenne-Oljka su Kras-Park Avenue Joe) took the harness racing 40,040€ purse, 1609 meters autostart, PR Citta di Treviso in Italy, timed in 1.11.9kr and reined by his trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. He moved first up the then leading Sonia (8f Donato Hanover-Ele Code-Uronometro) with Rene Legati up, putting that rival away and drawing clear to a two-length victory. Sonia held for third behind Virginia Grif (5f Varenne-Francy Capar-Supergill) that Fed Esposito piloted. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 10, 2019 - Cokstile (6m Quite Easy-Joystile-Coktail Jet) won his elimination and then won the harness racing Mattii finale in record time 1.10.4kr on the 806 meter Montegiorgio course with Antonio DiNardo at the lines. The purse was 154,000€ in the finale that was raced over 1600 meters autostart. Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) was a game second for Alessandro Gocciadoro and third was the rallying Billie de Montfort (8f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) handled by Gabriele Gelormini. The eliminations (batterias) went to Pantera del Pino (10f Turbo Sunbd-Desire’ del Pino) in the A batteria (Pascia’Lest) timed in 1.11.2kr for Rene Legati, a narrow victory over Vanesia EK (5f Exploit Caf) reined by Pietro Gubellini. Pocahontas Diamant (8f Look de Star) was third for Alessandro Gocciadoro and fourth was Billie de Montfort (8f Jasmin de Flore) with Gabriele Gelormini up. The batterias were raced over 1600 meters autostart for 12,100€ purses. Batteria B was named the Moni Maker and the 1.10.8kr victory went to Cokstile and driver DiNardo. Vesna (5f Libeccio Grif) was second for Rene Legati and Visa As (5f Varenne) was third for Gocciadoro. The Batteria C “Dryade des Bois” saw veteran Arazi Boko (12g Varenne) score by six lengths timed in 1.11.2kr for Gocciadoro, with Orion Tilly (8g Clerk Magistrate-Intra Tilly-Super Arnie) second and third was Von Wise As (5m Muscle Massive-Desert Flower K) for Andrea Guzzinati. Later in the card was the PR Mack Grace Consolation (purse 15,400€, 1600 meters) that saw Vincent SM (5n CCs Chuckie T-Nikata Yank SM) score in 1.11.3kr for Mario Minopoli Jr. Unno Del Duomo (6m Ganymede-Irma del Duomo) was second for Antonio Greppi and MT Insider (9m Offshore Dream) was third. On the same program was the GP San Paolo (purse 40,040€, 1600 meters autostart) and that 1.11.2kr timed victory was earned by Zilath (4m Maharajah-Only LB-Conway Hall) reined by Guzzinati. A length back was Zefiro d’Ete (4m Majo l’Amore) and third went to Zarrezza (4m Ready Cash). Thomas H. Hicks

September 29, 2019 - Zaniah Bi (4f Equinox Bi-Fendi Bi-Sugarcane Hanover) took today’s harness racing Grand Premio Continentale (purse 154,000€, 2060 meters autostart, 11 starters) at Bologna (804 meter track) clocked in 1.12.5kr. Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed the mare that was bred by and owned by Az. Agr. Biasuzzi Srl. She recorded her eighth victory in 24 appearances. Zefir Gar (4m Varenne-Georgette Gar-Lemoin Dra) held for second for Mario Minopoli Jr. and Zaire Wise As (4m Maharajah-Southwind Pomona-Dream Vacation) was third handled by Andrea Guzzinati. The companion Grand Premio Continentale Filly (purse 88,000€, 1660 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.12.3kr timed Zoe AMG (4f Nad Al Sheba-Iride-Supergill) with Gaetano DiNardo at the lines for her eighth victory in a 46 race career. Zoe AMG She was off at 64.8/1. Zanzibar Wise As (4f Muscle Massive-Lovely Fame-Varenne) was next for Andrea Guzzinati and third home was Zara (4f Quaker Jet-Noche di Jesolo-Self Possessed) with Romeo Gallucci up. Thomas H. Hicks  

Alrajah One (3m Maharajah-Marcu’-Varenne) scored an upset victory in the 92nd edition of the Derby Trotto Finale (purse 847,000€ ($932,000 US), 2100 meters autostart) with a two length 1.12.6kr victory. Enrico Bellei teamed the winner that defeated Amon You Sm (3m Love You-Saron Sabte Fe’ Sm-Lemon Dra) reined by Antonio Greppi. Third money went to Antony Leone (3m Lebeccio Grif-Gasping Ferm-Lemon Dra). Aramis Bar finished fourth for Bjorn Goop. The hot favorite Axl Rose was the early leader before taking a bad step causing a miscue on the backside. The winner’s pedigree is shown below. Note Granit (1972 m, Ayres-Roquepine) is in the maternal family. The superb undercard this day included the Premio Grand Prix Turilli (purse 154,000€, 2100 meters autostart) and it showcased a 1.11.3kr victory for Vivid Wise As (5m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) reined by Alessandro Gocciadoro. Tamure Roc (7f Exploit Caf-Ema Roc-Lemon Dra) was second with Filippo Rocca aboard and third went to Vanesia Ek (5f Exploit Caf-Nike Ek-Varenne) with Bjorn Goop at the lines. Ursa Caf finished fourth. Vivid Wise As was a dominant winner by four widening lengths in the lane. The Premio Oaks del Trotto (purse 253,000€, 1600 meters autostart, 12 starters), the day’s second main event, went to 1.13.4kr timed Audrey Effe (3f Up And Quick-Simphony Effe-Going Kronos) with Andrea Farolfi the reinsman. This impressive filly was a gate to wire winner over Alouette teamed with Enrico Baldi with third to Alcatraz Stecca (3f Napoleon Bar-Minut di No-Indro Park) handled by G.P. Minnucci. Arnas Cam took fourth money for Roberto Andreghetti. Andrea Effe is a slick gaited slender filly with a superb stride at full speed. She showed it this evening with an easy two length score. Two-year olds contested the Premio Oi Dialogoi (purse 8,800€, 1600 meters autostart) this evening at Napoli Agnano, with victory to 1.14.3kr record timed Bleff Dipa (2m Mister JP-Preziosa JW-Let’s` Go). Roberto Vecchione teamed the Holger Ehlert trainee.  The sire Mister JP is a son of Taurus Dream-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide. Barbaresco Grif (2f Conway Hall-Maura Grif-Varenne) was second for reinsman Gior. D’Allessandro Jr. and Barenne (2m Varenne-Miss Chip FAS-Pine Chip) was third. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

September 7, 2019 - The grand harness racing veteran Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride-Keystone Sheena) won today’s PR Campianato Europa at Cesena’s 800 meter track. This race is contested in two heats with reversed post positions (each for a purse of 11,000€ over 1660 meters autostart) and a match race finale if needed for 132,000€ purse raced over the same distance. The Finale saw Arazi Boko victorious timed in 1.11.1kr reined by his trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro in wire to wire fashion. He won the second heat and in the raceoff bested the other heat winner, Cokstile (6m Quite Easy-Joystile-Coktail Jet) teamed with Antonio DiNardo. The race replay of the Finale can be seen by clicking here. The heats were also superb with Cokstile taking the first timed in 1.12kr for his 14th career score in 39 outings. He bested Urgano Trebi’ (6m Nad Al Sheba - Istria Bi-Toss Out-Traffic Jam) and pilot Roberto Vecchione and third finishing Vernissage Grif (5m Varenne-Dalia Grif-Park Avenue Joe). The second heat went to 1.12kr timed Arazi Boko over Vernissage Grif and Uragano Trebi’. The race format, found in some European classic events, is an exciting alternative. Thomas H. Hicks

Three eliminations of the Oaks del Trotto were held August 31 at Roma Capannelle, Italy with each batteria for a purse of 22,000€ over the 1640 meter autostart course. Batteria A went to the 1.13.4kr timed Alcatraz Stecca (3f Napoleon Bar-One Minut di No-Indro Park) with G.P. Minnucci aboard. Ariala Cash (3f Ready Cash) and Angiolina OP (3f Chiaccio del Nord) followed the winner to the line.  Batteria B saw Audrey Effe (3f Up and Quick-Simphony Effe) score for pilot Andrea Farolfi timed in 1.13.5kr. Alouette and Avena Jet ended second and third. Audrey Effe The Batteria C elimination race saw Arnas Cam (3f Ready Cash-Nadia Cam-Varenne) score in a quick 1.12kr for Roberto Andreghetti. Always BR Ready (3f Inglesias) was a length away second and third was All Wise As (3f Varenne). Arnas Cam crushed this group and was the most impressive elim winner. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The Premio Finale Campionato Femminile (purse 88,000€, 2100 meters autostart, four year old mares) this day at Ippodromo del Garigliano in Italy, went to Zariah Bi (4f Equinox Bi-Fendi Bi-Sugarcane Hanover) handled by Mauro Biasuzzi clocked in 1.12.9kr. Zealand As (4f Donato Hanover-Fortune As-Tenor de Baune) rallied for second with Rene Legati up. Zarina Daniel (4f SJs Photo-Onda d’Asolo-Uronometro) was third. Winner’s pedigree is shown below. The three year old fillies then contested the Premio Finale Campianato Feminile (purse 88,000€, 2100 meters autostart) with victory earned by 1.12.7kr timed Audrey Effe (3f Up And Quick-Simphony Effe-Going Kronos) reined by Andrea Farolfi for Scuderia Gardesana. The race time was a new record for the open lengths winner. Pedigree shown below. Ampia Mede SM (3f Ganymede-Polimpia Slide SM-Yankee Slide) was second for Vincenzo d’Alessandro Jr. with third to Arnas Cam (3f Ready Cash-Nadia Cam-Varenne). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

The classy colt Axl Rose (3m Love You-Linda di Casei-Uronometro) sat the pocket before rolling to victory in Sunday’s Pr Carlo Marangoni Memorial (purse 154,000€, 2100 meters autostart) at Torino, Italy. The Alessandro Gocciadoro trained and reined pupil was timed in 1.12.8kr after Alrajah One set the pace for Enrico Bellei, only to be off the board. Amon You SM (3m Love You-Emon Sante Fe’SM-Lemon Dra) was second with Antoni0p Greppi at the lines and Antony Leone (3m Libeccio Grif-Gasping Ferm-Lemon Dra) was third. Al Capone Stecca and A Sexygirl Par completed the top five. The winning pedigree photo shows that the first dam was an exceptional winner of over 706,000€. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

John Calabrese kept the ball rolling with a win at Cesena. For sure for the affable John it was his first on the soil of his ancestors. this harness racing win, coupled with his smile, brought him many female admirers, especially when they somehow heard that he owned five racetracks in the USA. In the next event though the Italians scored a 1-4 placing over a really slow half pulled off by an Italian wall built up front mirroring those built in ancient times. They could have waited no longer to spoil our fun but took the cruelest path to deflate the American plans for a victory party. It did not matter though because the Americans were treated so royally well that if they had been beaten by 100 instead of by a mere six points. Truthfully the Americans were the big winners. With the care the Americans received from their hosts and friends, Stefano, Rafaello, Roberto Piergiovanni, and Daniele Ortello from amateur clubs from Venezia, Tuscano and Emiglia Romano ( Cesena), we certainly came out on top. Two more days until home for the USA team and all the baggage will be jam packed and brimming over with fond memories of the good times and our friends, both old and new. Coming next on the NAADA schedule will be friends from Torino arriving on US soiled in August. Their mission to compete and win some amateur races and see the famed Hambletonian. As Danile Orsini said we need to keep ties between our countries, as Italy and America have a lot in common, like between Phillip Mazzei and Thomas Jefferson. We must keep the game going at home and with our old Italian friends abroad. Italian horsemen have a great spirit in keeping the game going when you learn that purse money is delayed by six or more months. Yet these dedicated people come to Lexington and Harrisburg and they proudly displayed their Chapter Sevens, Donato's, Trixtons, and talked of the many others when displaying them. The American industry, as well as the global industry owes these people a lot. Bona note Bella Italia for now and benvenuti from USA to our guests coming from Torino.. by Joseph Faraldo

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